One of the book's main strengths lies in Cassaniti's ability to illustrate the affective tones of the abstract Buddhist concepts of impermanence, suffering and not-self as they are understood and embodied in the people she studies, lives with, and befriends.
Despite this (or perhaps because of this) she makes theoretical concepts of impermanence and not-self, among others, readily understandable to a classroom of students with no prior knowledge of Buddhism.
You may then treat yourself with the responsibility and otherness that a pregnant woman does whose self now has to be defined to overlap with not-self
I express my not-self
." Whom do we actually see in an artwork, if anyone at all?
This portrays the world as characterised by suffering, impermanence, and by 'not-self. From the perspective of environmental philosophy each of these is problematic, either because nature is viewed negatively, or else because only nibbana is valued positively, and this is understood to entail a repudiation of the world.
Below, I shall argue against this; an implication of the Third Mark of Existence, not-self, is that one cannot make any statements about objective value in the world, either positive or negative.
It appears, however, that none of these interpretations of nibbana is compatible with the doctrine of the Three Marks of Existence, and to understand why, we will need to examine the Third Mark, not-self
Modern interpreters of the not-self doctrine like to point out that the body is constantly undergoing different processes; old cells are dying and being replaced, the blood is continuously circulating the body, and the breath inhaled and exhaled.
The reciprocal superimpositions of the not-Self and the Self lead to erroneous cognitions which produce bondage and suffering.
The desired result is liberation of the Self from the entanglements with the not-Self, leading to bliss, even in this life.
The Buddha taught that everything we perceive, even consciousness itself, is impermanent, liable to suffering, and not-Self. The body, feelings, states of mind, and mental contents are not-Self, since we cannot make them be exactly as we would have them be (see Nanamoli Thera, 1981).
It's not only able to tell "self" from "not-self
', it can also discriminate between "okay" and "dangerous".